The Easy Path vs. The Hard Path

by Katherine Chen (Mission San Jose High School, Fremont, CA) on 2014-11-08 23:41:07 PDT
overwhelmingEver since I was young, I have heard from parents, friends, and classmates, as the list can go on and on, about how difficult the curriculum and school life during junior year of high school could be. Many face hard problems such as friendships, relationships, stress and pressure of school work, and with the increase of time, we are more in tune with the outside world and society.  For example, the news and media become forums for a glimpse of what is happening outside our enclosed life and endless routine of study, eat, sleep, school (in interchangeable order), and the news of students committing suicides especially stand out, as these people are our peers, people of the same age, going through the same events, who cannot deal with this stress.  All of these events change our views on life drastically and this is definitely true for myself, currently a junior.

At the beginning of junior year, I did not believe all these rumours about how challenging this year could potentially be.  And now, a couple of months into the school year, I can definitely state that the position of an upperclassmen of high school is no easy task, instead, it poses challenges not only physical but also emotional, or psychological.  Physical in the form of the toll on one's body of stress and pressure that school dumps onto one, and psychological in the form of the mental stress and decisions one must make during this period of time.  And those who cannot cope with all this distress bring suffering not only upon themselves, but also upon those around them who love them dearly.  And that is the reason I disapprove of the act of committing suicide.  I am not in any way or form criticizing those who choose the path of suicide as that is their decision.  We all grieve for these victims of stress and the lost potential of what they could have been and accomplished in the future, as now, no one will know.  Perhaps they might have achieved unprecedented acts beneficial to society and the world, such as the finding of a cure to cancer or mind-blowing technological advancements.  None will know, all because of the illogical stress placed on perfect grades and the crazy schedules students force themselves into.

hard work
successThese grades or achievements will stick with one for the rest of one's life, but they will not define or shape the person one will become.  Twenty years from now, no one will care about what grade one earned in junior high school or any grades for the matter.  These numbers on one's transcript's will serve no purpose, rather, it will be the degree of hard work and perseverance one is willing to pour into one's career that will actually abet one in life and lead towards the road of success.  Many argue that these grades and scores are the key into being accepted into a good college and therefore, they will achieve success.  And I am not disagreeing with this point, as I, personally, will seize the chance to attend these colleges. However, while these famous colleges offer a higher starting level afterwards, hard work will not only achieve the same level, but surpass it tremendously.  I strongly believe this mindset of mine as I have seen this tenet proven over and over again.

Reverting back to my opinions on suicide, this act may seem as the easy path towards freedom at the moment, because of the enormous mental and physical stress thrust onto these victims.  However, the easy path always comes along hand in hand with severe and drastic consequences, ones that are never worthwhile in the end.  The hard path is to continue down the path of work, work, and more work, that millions of people have gone through and survived before them.  And while the gap between generations and generations continues to grow, one value is transcendental.  And this is the ideal that hard work triumphs all.  I would like to conclude with all that is written were solely my own opinions and thoughts gleaned through my personal experiences, and while many may disagree, I hope everyone can adopt a positive outlook on life.

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